Wine Pairing: Barbera


Unlike rich braises or slow roasted preparations, grilled lamb served with a summery salad is best with a lighter bodied red wine. Since we’re focused on Italian ingredients here—rosemary, balsamic dressing, fresh basil—an Italian red from the Northern part of the boot makes perfect sense. Barbera delivers a juicy, bright wine to complement the acidity and fruitiness found in charred lemons and grilled peaches. It balances the delicious grilled leg of lamb and bitter tinge of crisp radicchio with a good amount of tartness on the palate. Only a few reds can match a dish with this much earthiness and freshness at the same time. Barbera’s flavor profile is juicy, yet you’ll find bitter red fruit and dark cherry aromas, black pepper, and a refreshing acidity with soft tannins. It’s also a great value wine for weekday grilling, but will appease the most refined connoisseurs.

Bottles to look for:

Vietti Barbera d’Asti

Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’Asti

Elio Grasso Barbera d’Alba

Pio Cesare Barbera d’Alba

Giacomo Conterno Barbera d’Alba

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